ZANU PF officials in Matabeleland North province are reportedly enticing villagers to join the ruling party structures on false job promises.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
A Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) April report reveals incidents where villagers in the wildlife-rich province have been asked to register for jobs, only to realise it was a Zanu PF recruitment exercise.
The April report for the human rights watchdog titled Coerced Patriotism said rights violations shot up to 123, from March’s 112, with Zanu PF supporters cited as the lead perpetrators.
In Matabeleland North, it has taken the form of false job promises to force people to register to join Zanu PF, the ZPP said.
“At a meeting in Hwange East Constituency ward 10, Zanu PF member Alexander Mugoli Dube is alleged to have told people to register for employment at Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC). On that same day he told those present to notify others of the employment opportunity.
“The next day, villagers came in numbers to register for employment at ZPC, but it dawned on them that they were made to register to form Zanu PF cells. It is said that Alexander Mugoli Dube informed those present that it was a must for everyone seeking employment to belong to some Zanu PF cell,” the report read.
In Binga, it was also the same modus operandi where villagers were told to register to join Zanu PF to be employed to dig trenches and construct a bridge 3-4km along Chuua Road.
“Part of those that were employed ended up registering their names to the responsible party officials as they feared exclusion from work. However, those who resisted any association with Zanu PF lost out,” the report added.
Zanu PF Matabeleland North chairperson, Richard Moyo was not reachable for comment, but the opposition and clergy condemned the practice as “vintage Zanu PF style”.
“This is vintage Zanu PF style. They create record unemployment and turn around to pretend to be creating jobs for people. They have tried to use fear as a mobilisation tool, now they have resorted to hope. Parliament must investigate use of State resources for partisan ends and report the criminals to police,” Discent Bajila, an MDC national executive member told Southern Eye.
Anglistone Sibanda, the chairperson of the faith-based Shalom Trust added: “They destroyed the economy through wrong policies and corruption and they are reaping from their destruction in that they created an extremely poor and gullible rural population that is too poor, too weak, too desperate, too vulnerable and too fearful that is easily manipulated through such antics, trickery and abuse and used to sustain the same system that is oppressing them that is the tragedy of the manipulative elective democracy.”